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Saiva and Vaishnava Ritual Traditions Study Based on Tantra Paddhathi and Vishnu Samhita

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Item Code: HAK020
Author: N. P. Unni
Publisher: CBH Publications
Language: Sanskrit and English
Edition: 2023
ISBN: 9789383811946
Pages: 255
Other Details 8.50 X 5.50 inch
Weight 260 gm
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Book Description
About the Book

This work is a comparative study of the Ritualistic practice and other details as evinced in Tantrpadhathi, also known as Isanasivagurudeva Padhati pertaining mostly on Saiva worship. The second study on Vishnu Samhita is based on the Vaishnava ritualistic practice. The study at- tempts to bring forth the prominent concepts presented in these two works on Ritual traditions. The Author has also delved on different commentaries on the texts by several authors on the manuscripts of Tantrapadhati and Vishnu Samhita, in the course of the study.

The Tantrapadhati of Isanasivagurudeva is of an en- cyclopedic nature giving a short but reliable account of a wide range of topics. The content refers to diverse fields of Tantra, Prasna, Jyotisha, Ayurveda, Kalpa, Dharmasastra, Smriti literature, Yoga sastra, Vyakarana, Cchandas and Saivagama. The author has collected his materials from au- thoritative sources. His first hand knowledge of the daily ritu- als of Kerala Temples and acquaintance with the modes of festivals have enhanced the value of the work considerably.

The Vishnu Samhita ascribed to Sumati, is a Tantrik treatise, mainly relating to the ritualistic practice of the Vaishnava tradition. In the thirty and odd chapters, he has dealt with all the aspects of Kriya and Carya in the four- fold classification of Jnana, Yoga, Kriya, and Carya. The famous Tantra Samuccaya, follows the Vishnu Samhita. Though the treatise stress on the worship of Vishnu, it com- prehends the rites of worship relating to to other deities also. In fact to a large extent the work is a treatise on gen- eral aspects of Tantra as applicable to Kerala temples.

Though published earlier in 2 volumes, this combined edition has been brought out considering the importance of ritual pratice, with Saiva and Vaishnavite relevance to these rituals.


Among the religious texts of the Hindus, Tantras occupy only the fourth position after Sruti, Smrti and Purana. It has been said that the Tantras are regarded by those who follow them as a fifth Veda as ancient as the others and of the superior authority that practical application of its teachings, however, which is pre- scribed in the Tantra is to be followed in preference to the Vaidikacara in the Kaliyuga. The relation of the Veda to the Tantra has been compared with that of the Jivatrna to the Paramatma. In other words the Tantra is said by its adherents to represent the inner core of the former.

Tantra is considered by the orthodox people as the specific Sastra for the Kaliyuga-the present age. It is not a petty Sastra for a small sect, but rather it represents as a universal text gov- erning all men in the Kali age, though particular provisions in it may have reference to particular division of worshippers. Some among the Saktas prescribe a form of sadhana called 'Panca-makara because each of the elements commences with the letter 'ma' as in madya, mamsa, matsya, mudra and maithuna. Only a commu- nity of Vama-carins among the Saktas, practise this as a 'rahasya puja'. This Vamacara is only prescribed for Sakta initiates and is forbidden to the Sakta non-initiate and to other communities of worshippers. Hence it is an error to hold that Tantra is a petty Sastra of any religious sect only. In fact the Tantra deals with all mat- ters of common interest and belief, from the doctrine of the ori- gin of the world to the laws which govern kings and the societ- ies with which they have been divinely appointed to rule, medi- cine and science generally. It is also a repository of esoteric be- lief and practices, particularly relating to Yoga and Mantrasastra. Further, Tantra claims to govern all orthodox communities of worshippers in the age of Kali in a general manner.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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